Somewhere in the South Pacific -- I'm a long way from home, but still get ESPN and the Internet so I fully followed the NBA Draft yesterday (early in the afternoon where I am). Here's a couple of things to chew on:
--I'm getting feedback that a lot of fans are upset the Cavs did not get into the draft. Especially considering, as predicted on this blog and elsewhere over the last week, the Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers sold their picks when they couldn't package them to move up. Here's what you need to understand: The only pick the Cavs wanted was the Suns' No. 24, ironically their own pick. I still believe my source that Jared Dudley was their top target, but he was gone by 22. The only other guy it seems the Cavs had interest in was Tiago Splitter from Brazil, who was gone at 28.
Here's what you need to understand about why the Suns sold the pick to Portland and not the Cavs: The Trail Blazers had a bigger trade exception than the Cavs and that was part of the deal. Late after the draft, the Suns sent James Jones to the Blazers for that trade exception. So including the $3 million the Blazers sent to Phoenix, they saved $6 million more in salary owed to Jones over the next two years. That is a $9 million benefit for Phoenix, which is very, very tight with a buck on the fringes of the roster to avoid the luxury tax. It was out of the Cavs hands at that point, it was a pure business deal.
--When considering Cavs point guard options, keep an eye on Seattle. By picking up Delonte West in the Ray Allen deal, the Sonics have three point guards including Earl Watson and Luke Ridnour. They are also a franchise not crazy about spending money while their arena situation is in flux. The Cavs have liked West for several years and may make a call to Seattle to see how badly the Sonics want to keep him. Chances are the Sonics will move one of those guards. Perhaps Ridnour is the favorite because he makes the most money and will be a base-year compensation player, which means it's easier to make a dollar-saving deal with him.
--In what seemed like a harmless chat on ESPN.com, Chris Sheridan wrote he heard the Cavs were shopping Larry Hughes. This is true and this has been true since the trading deadline when Danny Ferry openly told the media that he had conversations about every player on his roster with the exception of LeBron James. Make no mistake, the Cavs could trade Hughes, he is not totally untradeable as many suggest. But at this point it would be doubtful they could get back equal value, which would defeat the purpose. Hughes helped the Cavs win a lot of games last season, he's just not a good fit with LeBron at this point. They do not complement each other and most times they do not have a great chemistry on the court. It is an issue but not the biggest issue on the team.
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